During the lockdown, people have been clicking on their smartphones more frantically than before. Their urgency, making the keys sigh when released and the gadget sound like a typewriter, could be to dodge a bullet in Call of Duty or to wipe out an opponent’s token from a Ludo Board. The gaming fever has well and truly set in, and it is expected to intensify over the next three years. The initial lockdown saw time spent on gaming apps go up by 21% and total users cross 300 million, which is nearly a fourth of the population. How much will the industry grow and how fast?
India, one of the top five mobile gaming markets in the world, is expected to add around 40 million online gamers in FY22, according to Deloitte. The domestic industry is expected to grow at a CAGR of 40% till 2022, compared with the global growth rate of 9.64%. The industry will then be worth $2.8 billion, compared to $1.5 billion in 2020, according to the study TMT predictions 2021 by Deloitte.
This tremendous growth will be led by mobile gamers, since 85% of games are played on these devices. Also, the median age of the country will be 29 years by 2022, and this means larger target audience for the 400-odd gaming companies in India. Finally, when 5G comes with its faster internet, it will help the domestic industry ‘level up’ quicker than anticipated.
The business model has already evolved from one dependent on download volumes and advertisements to one with diversified revenue streams such as ingame purchases, ad revenue from banners and product placements and subscription fee.
Among the different gaming categories, real-money gaming (RMG, where people earn hard currency), e-sports and fantasy sports will be the ones to watch out for. While the first is expected to see a CAGR of 40% by FY22, the second is expected to see a growth rate of 36% and the third to see 32% over the next three years.
With the recent ban on popular international games, users are gravitating to Indian options such as nCore’s Fau-G, a desi version of PubG; Gametion’s Ludo King; and Nautilus’s Real Cricket 20. We are winning, but is it a cheat?